End your day right

Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

— Romans 14:13 (NKJV)

There are many things you can’t do, but there are also a lot of things you can do, and do well. You don’t have to compare yourself or your abilities and accomplishments with others’—you are free to follow God’s plan for your life.

Each of us need to live in the liberty of being led by the Holy Spirit, knowing that we have the right to make our own mistakes and learn from them. If you allow other people to become like a law to you, thinking you have to be like them, you’re robbing yourself of your God-given freedom. In the same way, you must not judge others or expect them to be like you.

Decide today to enjoy the liberty of living in God’s will, and allow those around you to live in that freedom, too.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for giving me the freedom to make mistakes, to learn, and to grow. Help me to live in that freedom more and more every day, and to give those around me that same freedom. In Jesus’ Name, amen.


Study to show yourselves approved

Since the fall of man, people have had trouble staying focused, but we live today in an age of unprecedented distraction.

Lots of experts are talking about the negative effects this is having on us. Many of us feel it: the buzzing brain, the attention atrophy, the diminishing tolerance for reading, especially reading books.

We’re becoming conditioned to distraction, and it’s harming our ability to listen and think carefully, to be still, to pray, and to meditate. Which means it is a spiritual danger, an evil from which we need God’s deliverance (Matthew 6:13).

The Causes of Distraction

Distraction, at least the dangerous kind I’m referring to, is shifting our attention from something of greater importance to something of lesser importance.

Our fundamental and most dangerous problem in distraction is in being distracted from God — our tendency to shift our attention orientation from the greatest Object in existence to countless lesser ones. The Bible calls this idolatry.

“Our attention often runs to what’s important to us. So distraction can reveal what we love.”eg Facebook, whatsapp, twitter,linkedin and so on.

This fundamental attention shift disorders us in pervasive ways. We find our tendency to be distracted from the more important to the less important cascading down, detrimentally affecting our relationships and responsibilities. So, at the deepest level, we are distractible because of our fallen, selfish nature; we have evil inside us.

A Heart Revealer

When we are regularly distracted by something, we need to take note. Our attention often runs to what’s important to us. So, distraction can reveal what we love.

“So, in our busyness, we must ask, what is the real distraction? What does our heart desire? Are we choosing “the good portion,” seeking the great “one thing” (Psalm 27:4), or something less?

Distraction is a frequent reminder of our frailty and limits, that we indeed are not God. And since we are given to such unjustifiable, and frankly ridiculous, levels of pride, this is very good for us. Distraction humbles us and forces us to ask God for the help we so desperately need.

If we see the Spirit-given graces of humility and faith growing in us through our struggles against distraction, we will count it among the “all things” we give thanks for (Ephesians 5:20, KJV).

Building the Muscle of Self-Control

God also uses distraction to strengthen our self-control. Christian self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23). And like nearly all the Spirit’s fruit of sanctification in us, they are cultivated through the primary, decisive gift of the Spirit and our secondary but indispensable intentional hard work.

“Muscles do not grow stronger without pushing against resistance. Neither does self-control.”

It’s helpful to remember that we strengthen self-control similar to how we strengthen muscle: through resistance. Muscles do not grow stronger without pushing against resistance. Neither does self-control. There’s no getting around the hard work of applying ourselves and figuring out what works best for us. But if we prayerfully and faithfully apply ourselves, the Spirit will empower our efforts and we will see our capacity for self-control increase.

If you’re a person who, for whatever reason, has a more difficult struggle with distraction, you need not feel condemned (Romans 8:1). For you, good stewardship looks like fighting distraction as best you can. Push yourself. You may not be able to do what others can do, but God will only hold you accountable for the measure of grace given to you (Romans 12:6).

It’s right for us to see certain distractions as evils in themselves. Every one is a time-tax we pay, a tax for which there is no refund. Time spent simply means we have less to spend. Every distracted minute is an unrecoverable minute, now frozen in the permanent past. It is right to seek to make the best use of our time in these evil days (Ephesians 5:16).

And yet, we also do not need to be more paralyzed by this than by any other struggle with sin or futility. Our Father wants us to grow in the grace of faith-fueled focus, and will, through Christ, cause our difficult struggles against distraction to work for our good (Romans 8:28). He will, through his Spirit, use them to free us from idolatry and pride and to help us grow in self-control. So, in confident faith we can approach his throne of grace with this prayer:

Whatever it takes, Lord, increase my resolve to pursue only what you call me to do, and deliver me from the fragmenting effect of fruitless distraction.


Study to show thy selves approved

The apostle Paul wrote to the evangelist Timothy, Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

This verse well-illustrates the need for understanding that word meanings may change, and we must be ever on guard against misapplying or twisting scripture, even when we try to teach the truth. The rendering, study to show thyself approved unto God is found only in the King James Version, translated in the year 1611. In 1611 the word study meant strive, or be diligent. Thus the New American Standard Bible renders the verse, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. The New International Version renders the verse, Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Bible study is very important, but 2 Timothy 2:15 is not just a command to study the Bible. Being an approved workman involves much more. Paul wanted Timothy to understand that to be a workman that God could approve, he would have to be diligent in his service to God. God is not the kind of Master that accepts shoddy  or mediocre work! By earnestly applying himself in service, Timothy would not need to be ashamed as he stood before God in the day of judgment. To be that diligent, approved workman, he would have to correctly handle the word of truth, what the King James Version renders, rightly dividing the word of truth. Of necessity, correctly handling the Bible, the word of truth will involve much study, contemplation, and prayer. It will involve bringing an open mind, an open heart, and a faithful life to the word of truth.

The goal of being an approved workman should be the goal of all of God’s children. In the verses immediately before 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul stressed the importance of living faithfully before God, even to the point of suffering. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us (2 Timothy 2:12). He then told Timothy, Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers (2 Timothy 2:14). The evangelist Timothy was to remind his hearers of the sacrifice of Christ, the need for serving Him, and the need to work diligently to be approved workmen before God. The diligent application of all our energy to the service of God will allow us to join Timothy standing before God without shame. Nothing will help us more to please God than to handle carefully and correctly God’s written word. We should look to the written word of God with the same reverence as the psalmist who wrote, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).


Evangelism and Dicipleship

One of the greatest needs in evangelism is willing workers. The harvest is plenty, but the workers are few. Before Jesus sent out the seventy-two disciples to evangelize, he told them to ask the Lord of the Harvest to send workers (see Luke 10:2).

If we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we have received the Holy Spirit. So we now rely on the Spirit to go ahead of us and provide opportunities for us to share the Gospel. We rely on the Holy Spirit to convict people of their sin, and to lead them to the truth of Jesus Christ (see John 16:7-11). 
One of the ways that the Spirit leads people to Christ is by performing miraculous signs such as healing. The Bible teaches that Jesus miraculously healed many people.
Jesus ministered in power. 

37 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached– how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. (Acts 10:37-38). 

The Apostle Paul spread the Gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Cor. 2:4,5 NIV). 

I have seen and heard of people being miraculously healed by the power of the Holy Spirit. But not all people are physically healed. It is not God’s purpose that people be continually healed so they live forever in this world. So we pray in the name of Jesus for healing according to the will of God.

Evangelism generally is not bringing people to the church. Rather, evangelism is taking the church to the people. Evangelism involves going out and presenting the Gospel, and winning souls . Once the people are believers, they will want to meet with other Christians of the church.

We pray and evangelize in the power of the Holy Spirit. We follow evangelism with discipleship. Then we leave the results to God. We can’t save the lost. We can only present the Good News, and rely upon God to save sinners.

Mass evangelism occurs among large numbers of people, but personal evangelism involves sharing the Gospel with one person or a small group of people. 
In addition to planned evangelism, personal evangelism may occur on a daily basis, as we go about our routine activities. The Great Commission as given in Matthew 28:19 says, “Go and make disciples.” But the Greek word translated as “go” implies that we are also to make disciples as we go. We should pray that God opens our (intellectual ability) that is our minds for opportunities in witnessing to anyone that we encounter. 

In order to evangelize as we go about our daily activities, we need to know how to turn a conversation toward spiritual things-Elder Micheal Stewart


Till the storm passes by

Scripture:  Acts 27: 9-26; 43-44 and Psalm 37:25

9 Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Day of Atonement. So Paul warned them, 10 “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” 11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. 12 Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.  13 When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. 14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island. 15 The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. 16 As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure, 17 so the men hoisted it aboard. Then they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Because they were afraid they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along. 18 We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. 21 After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” Acts 27: 43-44:  43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44 The rest were to get there on planks or on other pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land safely.  Psalm 37:25  25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

2016 was a challenging year, full of storms.  But a storm for YOU is not necessarily a storm for some of us .  Some of us experienced physical storms, such as a disturbing report from the doctor or  diseases.  But the storm is passing over, thanks be to God.  When you are going through a storm, have you noticed that much advice is available, but very little help?  2011 was a stormy year because some saw their homes subjected to foreclosure.  Some saw secure jobs lost. Some saw savings that had been accumulated over many years slowly exhausted.  Some of us found ourselves robbing Peter to pay Paul.

In verse 10 of the scripture, Paul advised the crew not to leave the harbor; but his warning was  ignored and they sailed into the storm.  Sometimes our impatience places us in a storm. Sometimes we enter in to a hasty marriage when all the signs were against it. Sometimes we are impatient to move to the other side of town to get away from the high crime rate, and we find ourselves being robbed on the other side of town.  Some of us are impatient about staying in a church in which we feel we are not being fed.  But you can’t get fed if you don’t come to the altar.

The scripture today gives us three “D’s” to guide us until the storm passes over:

1.         DON’T DRIFT.  In the scripture, when the storm got increasingly rough, the crew just gave up and started to drift.  When we drift, we let go of our goals and we forget where we are headed. We just go with the flow.  In the midst of your darkest storm, remember that God is the light, and there is no need to drift.

2.         DON’T DISCARD.   In the scripture, in the midst of the storm, the crew threw the cargo overboard.  Sometimes we drift, then we throw out the very things we need to keep:  We give up on our dreams, goals, relationships, and values.  V29:  “When it looked as if all were lost…”   The safest thing to do in the storm is to STAND STILL and watch God’s will unfold.

Sometimes situations seem so overwhelming that we just want to change everything. That’s when we need to anchor in God. We miss what God intends for us because we keep moving out of vision.  Have any of you ever experienced “missed blessings?”  You look back over your life and you see the blessings that you missed because you were too busy to appreciate them, or you didn’t stay in a relationship long enough to receive them.

3.         DON’T DESPAIR.  In Verse 20, they gave up all hope of being saved.  In order to withstand the storms, you need to be covered, covered by the blood of Jesus.  In verse 25, the disciples were covered because of Paul’s faith, not because of their own faith.  Some of us have been spared during the storms of life because of the prayers and the faith of others – our mothers, our fathers, our grandmothers our grandfathers our friends, our church family.

Sometimes you are so down and in such despair that YOU can’t pray.  Make sure you’ve got some people in your life who can get a prayer through.

Finally, Brothers and Sisters, the storm is not meant to DESTROY you; it is meant to bring you closer to God.  Think about it – many of you found Jesus during a storm.  You were battered and scarred by an angry sea, and Jesus caught you.

So, no matter what it looks like; no matter whether you are in a storm, just got out of a storm, or are going into a storm, know that the storm is passing over.

We all face storms and difficulty in life, the question is how do we handle the storms of life?

We are in an economic storm

We are in a cultural storm

We are in a family storm

You are in an educational  Storm

Maybe a Relationship Storm

Maybe you are in a Spiritual Storm

Let me give you 7 principles today.

How do I survive this storm?


1. Avoid When Possible

  Asome people that just prefer storms

    1. Let’s be honest now, there are some of you who like storms

    2. you will create storms when necessary

    3. some people stir the pot just to see the swirls in the soup

    4. They’d rather have negative feedback than no feedback at all

    5. They like the attention that storms bring

    6. When storms are in their lives people come to help and though it’s hard it’s not lonely

  BSome storms are OUR fault because of choices, sin, and so on

You CAN Survive this dreadful storm.-Elder Micheal Stewart



Scripture reading: Ephesians 6:12,18-20 NIV).  

The Master Plan.

The overall plan of evangelism is to conduct evangelistic training, pray, rely on the Holy Spirit, go and witness, and leave the results to God.

Leaders Must Train People to Evangelize.

Leaders of the church and pastors should prompt their congregations to evangelize. Leaders set an example by evangelizing. Someone wrote, “Evangelism is more caught than taught.” In other words, persons catch onto evangelism by going to evangelize with more experienced witnesses. It is good to learn the basics of evangelism in a classroom, but most evangelistic skill is learned through practice. When an experienced witness evangelizes together with a less experienced person , the person participates in witnessing when he feels comfortable in doing so. The person  will learn more with each household visited. 

In many places, door-to-door personal evangelism produces many converts. In other places, other forms of evangelism may be more effective.

Churches that have strong outreach and discipleship programs often are the churches that grow. If a church has an insufficient number of people to support the work of the church, and to support the pastor or leaders, that church may be weak in evangelism. So the pastor or leaders may need to concentrate on outreach.

Pray. As with all ministry, the work should be preceded by prayer. Pray before going, while evangelizing, and after evangelizing. The Apostle Paul said that we should put on the whole armor of God to combat spiritual enemies. A key part of that armor is prayer. 

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.   19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:12,18-20 NIV).  -Elder Micheal Stewart


I Thrist

Jesus was crucified at 9 o’clock in the morning, and He spent the first three hours on the cross in the sunlight. Then the darkness came, and at the end of three hours of darkness, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

Our Lord’s first three statements were centered on others – His enemies, the thief, and John & Mary. But His last three statements from the cross were focused on Himself: His body – “I thirst” (John 19:28); His soul – “It is finished” (v. 30; Isaiah 53:10); and His spirit – “Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). Body, soul & spirit – all were offered by the Lord Jesus Christ in obedience to the Father.

The shortest of these statements that our Lord made from the cross is the one found in John 19:28, “I thirst.” In the original text, it is one word of four letters. It is the only statement in which our Lord referred to His body and His physical suffering. This simple word, however, tells us three important things about our Savior.

1. Jesus Is A Sympathetic Savior.

While Jesus was 100% divine, He was also 100% human. Because He walked upon this earth as a man, though He knew no sin, He did become very much acquainted with the difficulties of life here below. When He was a child, He probably skinned His knee a time or two. As a teenager, it is likely that He knew what it was like to not be part of the “in” crowd. Learning the carpenter’s trade in His father’s shop, He possibly had a splinter or two, and He also could very well have smashed His finger on occasion with a hammer. As a man, He knew what it was to grow tired, to be cold, to sweat, to be hungry, and, of course, He knew what it was like to be thirsty.

During an airline flight, concern over the heavy turbulence mounted until the soothing voice of the pilot came over the intercom: “No need to worry, folks,” he said cheerfully, “Just remember: these bumps are made of air!” We may wish the bumps we face in life were made of air, but they are not. Life is difficult; adversities are real. Physical trials sting and smart. Emotional trials leave us with unresolved baggage. Spiritual trials drain our souls. 

Jesus felt the “bumps” as He lived here among men. Because this is so, we know that He understands where we are and what we are going through in our struggles in this life.

Jesus Is A Scriptural Savior.

In saying “I thirst,” Jesus fulfilled a prophecy of Scripture.

“They . . . gave me vinegar for my thirst.” – Psalm 69:21 (NIV)

“My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.” – Psalm 22:15 (NIV)

One of the strongest evidences that Jesus can do what He promised in your life is that fact that He fulfilled what was foretold about His life.

“There are in the Old Testament 332 distinct predictions which were literally fulfilled in Christ.” Some object to the assertion that prophecies fulfilled by the life of Christ are evidence of His being Who He claimed to be – the Son of God and the only Savior of men.-Elder Micheal Stewart


The joy of believing

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope. — Romans 15:13 (AMPC)

I remember an evening when I was feeling extremely frustrated and discontented. I had no peace or joy, and I felt absolutely miserable. Then I read Romans 15:13, and it was indeed “a word in season” for me (see Isaiah 50:4).

As I was reading, I realized my problem was simple: I was doubting instead of believing. I was doubting God’s unconditional love, doubting that I could hear from Him, doubting His call on my life, doubting that He was pleased with me. I was filled with doubt . . . doubt . . . doubt.

When I saw the problem, I decided to step back into faith and out of doubt. My joy and peace returned immediately. Ever since, I’ve found the same thing to be true again and again in my life. When joy and peace seem to be gone , I check my believing—usually it’s gone also. But when I choose to believe the truth of God’s Word over my feelings, His joy comes rushing back.

Prayer Starter: Father, please help me be mindful to stay in a position of faith. Thank You for giving me the grace to believe truth over my feelings, and for being my hope! In Jesus’ Name, amen.


When God is silent

Today’s Scripture

“…For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow…”

(James 1:3, NLT)

Sometimes when we’re being tested by discouragement, it seems God is silent. We pray and don’t hear anything. We read the Scripture and still come away feeling as though God is a million miles away. It’s easy to think something must be wrong. But remember, this is a test. You have to pass the test of being faithful where you are. Keep stretching, praying, and believing. The next step is coming—an increase step, a favor step, a healing step, a breakthrough step.

When God is silent, don’t assume He’s left you or is mad at you. He is right there with you during the test. His silence is a sign that He has great confidence in you and He has prepared you, and now He is watching to see if you have learned. He knows you will come through the test victoriously or He would not have permitted you to be tested. Keep being your best with what you have.

A Prayer for Today

Father, thank You for the good plan You have for my life. Even when I don’t understand things, I choose to put my hope and trust in You. Help me to live in Your joy and pass the discouragement test when You seem to be silent. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


The Love of God knows no boundary

Main Bible Text: Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. As the scripture exhorts us that our father demonstrates to us that while we were sinners deserving of death christ came and died for us, it is in the same way a parent will tell his/her child that he/she loves that child but that child will only know if that is true when that parent demonstrates it in action. God loves us so much that He is saying even though you have done something wrong and should receive the punishment, I will come with a plan to allow my son to take your place so that you can live a life that is peaceful all He is asking is for you to show Him in return that you love him by obeying His commands. We can see clearly that God has a agape type of love for us , one that is unconditional, one that will allow God to do anything for us even if it requires death so that we can live a good life . All is asking is for you to show him that you love him as well by obeying his voice. Will you obey Him today?-Elder Micheal stewart